With nature preserves, trails, ponds, bike paths, parks, beaches, and recreation areas, Fort Gratiot has plenty for people to enjoy all four seasons. Fort Gratiot Township is also home to the largest commercial corridor in St. Clair County. Fort Gratiot Township Has It All…Small Town Charm With Big City Opportunities!
Monday, June 22, 2015: Recycling will be picked up this week. As a reminder, clear bags should not be used for trash. Also, only clear glass can be recycled. If you place your trash in your driveway, looking at your house from the road, please place your trash on the left side of your driveway and your recycling on the right. All materials should be out by 7AM because routes can be adjusted due to weather and personnel and your truck may come at a different time than normal. Please make sure that your bags can be seen if they are not in a container; snow can conceal the white bags with a minimal amount of snowfall.
Law Enforcement Funding by Special Assessment instead of Millage Proposal
NOTICE OF HEARING ON SPECIAL ASSESSMENT
TO ALL OWNERS OF REAL PROPERTY WITHIN THE CHARTER TOWNSHIP OF FORT GRATIOT
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Fort Gratiot Charter Township Board of Trustees, on its own initiative and without petition, has determined to contract for Law Enforcement Services for a term of three years: 2015, 2016 and 2017.
You are advised that if the record owners of at least twenty (20%) percent of the land area in the Special Assessment District, to be assessed for costs of the said services, as such land area is described above, file written objections to the services with the Township Board at or prior to the hearing set forth below, then the services may not be provided without petitions, which meet the requirements of Act 188, Public Acts of Michigan, 1954, as amended.
The Law Enforcement Service Contract has been made with the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office and can be found at fortgratiottwp.org and is on file with the Township Clerk for public examination.
Currently this contract is paid for through a millage and is being proposed to be paid for through a Special Assessment. If approved, the Special Assessment will be reviewed at a Public Hearing annually, no later than November.
TAKE, FURTHER, NOTICE that the Township Board will meet on July 1st , 2015 at 7:00 o’clock p.m., at the Township Hall, 3720 Keewahdin Road, Fort Gratiot, for the purpose of hearing any objections to the 2015-2017 Law Enforcement Services Special Assessment District.
ROBERT C. CRAWFORD, CHARTER TOWNSHIP OF FORT GRATIOT CLERK
The law requires that the notices for public hearings have very specific language and we have found that the postcards get more attention than a letter in an envelope. The goal is for people to take notice and ask all the questions they can think of. We hope this explanation and history help, and please feel free to contact Supervisor Jorja Baldwin, Clerk Rob Crawford or Treasurer Judi Reynolds at (810) 385-4489, or any Board of Trustees member if you have questions/concerns.
Voted Millage vs Special Assessment
Property owners would not see a difference in the way they are assessed or billed for our Law Enforcement coverage. The assessment rate for the service will be on the December Tax bill, and based on the Taxable value, as it has always been.
Instead of funding Law Enforcement through a “voted millage,” which is locked in for a number of years, regardless of whether property values or cost of services increase or decrease, the Board is proposing to fund Law Enforcement through a “Special Assessment.” The Fort Gratiot Fire Department is currently funded in this manner.
If approved by the Board, a public hearing would be held annually to set the “Special Assessment Rate” based on proposed property values and the actual cost of the service as agreed upon in the Township’s contract with the Sheriff’s Office. This will avoid collecting more than we need in some years, and not collecting enough in others.
The current millage rate of 1.5 mills has been in effect for 10 years. Over the past few years, with property values declining, we have not collected enough to cover the cost of the service and have now depleted the fund balance we were using to make up the difference. Had we been funding this through a special assessment, we could have set the rate annually to cover the cost of the service and not been locked into the same millage rate.
History of Law Enforcement Coverage Funding:
- August 1997 it was paid for through a Special Assessment at .75 mills.
- August 1999 approved to charge up to 1.35 mills by a voted millage, this is when coverage increased.
- August 2002, voted millage renewed at 1.35 mills.
- August 2005, voted millage increased to 1.5 mills.
- It was last on the ballot in August 2011 for renewal of the 1.5 mills and passed 656-yes to 118-no.
- Voters have approved to collect 1.5 mills for the last ten years.
- This is not a new tax.
- This is not an additional tax.
- You will not be billed separately.
- This will be assessed to all properties in the township that receive a tax bill, residential, commercial, vacant, as it is currently.
- You will see this as a line item on your December tax bill, same as it is under the current method of funding.
- It will be based on taxable value, as it is currently.
- A special assessment requires an annual public hearing and gives residents the opportunity each year to make comments and/or objections.
- We will review the contract amount and taxable values annually at a public hearing.
- Based on the review, we will set the mills to cover the cost of the contract for the year.
- The fire department has always been funded through a special assessment based on mills and taxable value, is reviewed annually at a public hearing and is collected on the December tax bill
- Trash service is also reviewed annually and collected on the December tax bill, but it is a lump sum based on service cost and fuel-not taxable value, and is only assessed to residential homes.
Click here to view the 2015-2017 “Agreement for Law Enforcement Services between the St. Clair County Sheriff and the Charter Township of Fort Gratiot.”
Fort Gratiot is 1 of 16 finalists nationwide in a contest that saw over 1,000 communities nominated in the PetSafe Bark For Your Park competition, and is the ONLY community in Michigan!
HELP US WIN UP TO $100,000 TO BUILD A DOG PARK!
You can vote once per day after you set up an account on their website, and can vote once per day on Facebook also.
We have already gotten our letters of support, and have also received support from the City of Port Huron Parks & Recreation department and from Port Huron Township! Preliminary plans include 2 parking areas, and 3 fenced areas for dogs – 1 for large breed, 1 for small, and a socialization area, accessed by a key card entry system. If we win the contest, this dog park will be open to the public and will not be limited to Fort Gratiot residents, and there will be no charge to use. We will likely require annual registration to verify that the dogs are vaccinated. Because we sell dog licenses for St. Clair County already, we feel we are equipped to handle dog park registrations with current staff and resources.
The proposed location is on a parcel we already own that was generously donated to us by the McIntyre Family. The park was initially going to include soccer fields, but due to wetlands on the 29 acre site, the design was too difficult and would only be able to accommodate 2 fields that would be separated by wetlands. The property is situated between Parker Road and the Kettlewell Pond, south of the Fort Gratiot Pond (Scarecrow Saturday park) and is adjacent to the bike path.
This Contest will end at 11:59:59 pm ET on July 22, 2015 or upon announcement and qualification of the Prize Winners, whichever is later.
The Current Contest Schedule is:
|May 13, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. ET||Contest Opens; Entry Period Voting Begins|
|June 10, 2015 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET||Deadline for Submission of Entries; Entry Period Voting Ends|
|June 15, 2015||Notification of Finalists|
|June 17, 2015 at 1:00 p.m.||Finalist Voting Period Begins|
|July 22, 2015 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET||Finalist Voting Ends|
|July 31, 2015 (Tentative)||Announcement of Grand Prize and Runner-Up Prize Winners|
Poster courtesy Carl Fese
Burning permits are required and are issued on an annual (January 1 – December 31) basis. Please contact the fire department at (810) 385-5666 for more information.
Click the Pic for the 2015 Summer Program Brochure! You may also visit the Port Huron City Recreation Website to check out all of the class offerings for kids and adults. Through a cooperative agreement between the City of Port Huron of Fort Gratiot Charter Township, Fort Gratiot residents are eligible for the Port Huron resident rates (listed as “Resident Fee” in program guides) for all programs and events.
Online registration is also available!
The Assessing Department will be out in the following areas this year doing on-site inspections. We will begin with Phase 1 on April 27, 2015 and move on to the next phase as each phase is completed. We will be out during the hours of 8:30 am and 3:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Pictures will be taken so access to back yards is necessary and all pets should be secured when we are at your home.
All assessing personnel carry identification. A door hanger will be left in the event that no one is home. Please fill out the information card on the door hanger and return it to the Assessing Department as soon as possible. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call the Assessing Department at 810-385-4489, Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.
|PHASE 1 (355 PARCELS)||PHASE 2 (322 PARCELS)||PHASE 3 (240 PARCELS)|
|BLUEBERRY LN||KEEWAHDIN RD||ABEL DR|
|COLLINS RD||KRAFFT RD||BONISTEEL RD|
|CONNIE LN||NORTH RIVER RD||BUCKLEY DR|
|DEVONSHIRE RD||PINE GROVE RD||DESMOND BEACH|
|DYKEMAN RD||FAIRWAY DR|
|ESTATES DR||FORMAN DR|
|GRANT AVE||GRACE RD|
|GUILFORD LN||GRATIOT AVE|
|LAKE DR||HELEN AVE|
|LOMAR DR||HITCHINGS ST|
|LOTON DR||JAMES CT|
|OAK LEAF DR||LILAC LN|
|OLD FARM LN||MEADOWLAWN DR|
|OLD FORGE LN||ORVALL DR|
|OXBOW DR||SPARTAN DR|
|POLLINA AVE||VELMA DR|
|SAPPHIRE LN||WATSON DR|
|SIMPSON RD||WILLOW LN|
|WOODED TWIGS DR|
|PHASE 4 (198 PARCELS)||PHASE 5 (228 PARCELS)|
|CAMPFIRE DR||24TH AVE|
|ELMWOOD DR||BRACE RD|
|LAKESHORE RD||CAMPBELL RD|
|MAPLEWOOD DR||CARRIGAN RD|
|SYLVAN DR||COLE RD|
|WOODLAND DR||LINCOLN AVE|